The win moves Federer past both Pete Sampras and William Renshaw, who each won seven titles at the grass-court major, for the most men’s titles in the history of the event first held in 1877.
“I always believed that I could maybe come back and do it again. And if you believe, you can go really, really far in your life, and I did that,” Federer said. “And I’m happy I kept on believing and dreaming, and here I am today for the eighth. It’s fantastic.”
When it ended, with an ace from Federer after merely 1 hour, 41 minutes of play, he raised both arms overhead. A minute or so later, he was sitting on the sideline, wiping tears from his eyes.
Truly, the outcome was only in doubt for about 20 minutes, the amount of time it took Federer to grab his first lead. Cilic, whose left foot was treated by a trainer before the third set started, was never able to summon the intimidating serves or crisp volleys that carried him to his lone Grand Slam title at the 2014 US Open. Cilic beat Federer in the semifinals during that run, his only win over the Swiss player.
Federer, 35, became the oldest champion at the All England Club, and he won his second Grand Slam of the year in impeccable fashion by not dropping a set throughout the two-week run. Federer joins Bjorn Borg (1976) as the only men in the Open era to win Wimbledon without losing a set, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Federer last won the grass-court major in 2012 but took the Australian Open title this year before skipping the French Open to focus on the remainder of the season.
That decision apparently paid off for the now-19-time Grand Slam champion.